A Gentle Start to the Year - 5 Ways to Show Self Care•
Posted on January 24 2022
It’s been a while since I have written a journal story, the last one being the beginning of December when we launched our high summer Bestowed Collection. I needed a little ‘down time’ to regroup and recover from the most challenging year of my life. I know many others found 2021 challenging too and that is why I decided to make my first journal for 2022 about what I found helped me relax and reset. I’m glad I took some time out to do this as personally I felt like ‘the tank was empty’ and I usually am a very upbeat positive person however, being worn down made finding positivity in every day a little hard.
This year has started off slowly, very very slowly, in fact we have never been this slow, having many days selling nothing at all! It’s a hard balance being all about sustainability because over consumption is at the core of our planet’s problem. During the past two years when 99% of the worlds population has suffered, the top 1% have doubled their wealth though, creating an even bigger divide.
To keep positive I have had to continue to focus on the things we can do, things that can make a small difference. I choose NOT to purchase from big corporations and to buy from small independents. When I buy my food from the local organic markets I give them my money and not the big supermarket chains. We have done this for over a decade now and it feels good. Also we prefer to pay them with cash and not card, so a bank doesn’t make a cut of every sale.
Now I’ve had my brief ‘rant’ about the current situation I will share with you the 5 ways to show self care that I focus on and have worked for me. I didn’t include meditation and breathing exercises but of course they are beneficial too. I intended this story to be less ‘new age, self help’ and more of a sharing of easy practical things that you can incorporate into your everyday life.
1 - Audiobooks
This has been the most effective relax tool for me personally. When I really relax I need to rest my eyes or at least look at things further away as my work time is all close up, at arms length away at the most. Listening to someone read you a story while you can lounge around or gaze up at the clouds is so relaxing for me. It also has a nice childhood memory because back in NZ we used to listen to Sunday morning stories on a little yellow Sony transistor radio. My brothers and I would lie on the bed and listen to Spike Milligan’s Bad Jelly the Witch and many other kiwi kid classics!
I have listened to some amazing books over the last couple of months and the ones I liked the best were these three which all happen to be narrated by the authors too, which I think is a bonus. The three titles below are my picks and I highly recommend them as a satisfying read/listen. They all made me think and gave me a feeling of hope. I especially recommend Trent Dalton’s Love Stories, to focus on the most important thing in these times, love and its power.
(Above: Images of audio books borrowed from Brisbane City Council Library)
2 - Forest Bathing & Bush Walking
I’m lucky to live not far from Brisbane Forest Park, Enoggera reservoir and Mt Coot-tha. Whenever I need to get back to nature I can put on my shoes and simply walk there, although there are huge hills en route! Anyone who knows my suburb The Gap will know that’s true. Getting out into nature has a profound effect on your wellbeing. I find when I get past the first corner of the bush track the city noise disappears and all I can hear are the birds and insects. Time to inhale the fresh air, absorb the bush scents and exhale...
It’s open Eucalyptus bush near us, beautiful but sometimes I feel I need to be surrounded by a more lush feel, so a trip up to Mt Glorious is needed, where it’s totally green rainforest. When I go there I like to walk slowly, look at all the textures around me and breathe in the oxygenated air.
3 - Journal writing
Writing your thoughts down can help when your head is spinning with too many thoughts going on. I like to write about all sorts of things in my journals. Getting your thoughts down on paper sometimes helps you see things differently and gives you a different perspective. Pictured below are my two new ones for 2022, the Botanical one from Notely and the one with Honeyeaters is from Studio Nikulinsky. They feel really good to write in, beautiful paper and made with love. Every time I hear a saying or positive affirmation that speaks to me, I like to write it down in a notebook or journal. I also find it helpful to have a gratitude journal. Writing 5 things you are grateful for in your life each day, keeps you focussing on those positive things and not all the crap things that happened that day.
I saw a cute idea on Instagram late last year that was a slightly different version of a gratitude journal. You write down on a piece of paper each week good things that happened. At the end of the year, you open the jar and read about what a great year you had so we started a family one of these. As a family business we have a meeting each Friday and we now end it with adding a new gratitude note. Jay, Dakotah and I write one thing each, date it and add it to the jar, which has a nice Supima cotton hat tied with some hat elastic. On our last day of work we will celebrate and read the contents.
4 - Fresh Organic Food made with Love
This has always been the most important thing in my self-care kit. Food is my Medicine. I do see food as super yummmm and a pleasure to eat but the health benefits of fresh organic food has big importance. I know that I feel better when I eat food that suits my body's needs. We all eat mostly plant based foods in our family getting it from the Northey St Organic Markets. It's fresher, sometimes harvested the day before, seasonal and local. I believe it's best to eat what's in season because that is what is growing at that time, and probably what your body needs too.
It's amazing how good you feel mentally and physically when you remove processed food from your diet and only eat real whole foods.
5 - Pilates and Yoga
Anyone who knows me will know that Pilates is my 'happy place'. I find taking an hour or two out of my day to exercise is essential for not only my physical well being but also my mental well being.
Getting out of our house to go somewhere to do Pilates is essential for me as I work and live in the same place with my husband Jay. It's my time for myself and I get to switch off because I am only just down the road and work things can wait until I get back. I get to realign my body, destress and get strong. I see my investment in pilates as heath insurance, because if I keep healthy and fit I don't get ill. Even though I have done lots of Pilates for 8 years now, I still like to book in for some private one on one sessions. I find this especially good when I have had an injury (like my 2020 bursitis shoulder) so I can focus on the rehabilitation and have some 'take home' exercises to do.
Below is a pic at One Body Studio during a private session with Ha. I am wearing our organic cotton Path leggings, Daria tunic and Andromeda top as this was in winter. I design a few garments especially for Pilates and Yoga as I need a good selection of clothes to move in that are not made of synthetics.
(Above: One Body Studio at The Gap, my 'Happy Place' beautiful natural light and a peaceful feel)
Although One Body Studio do Yoga as well as Pilates, Yoga for me is something I do at home on my own or with Jay in our room that was designed to be a multi-use space. We invested in private yoga classes many years ago and found that it taught us heaps. I like to do Yoga as soon as I get up or before a shower at night to get a restful sleep.
(Below: Our multi use room for yoga at home)
I hope that these Self Care tips are helpful, simple things that do mostly require just some time to put aside for yourself.
If you want to share your ideas for others to read you can comment below, or privately send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
I do enjoy Instagram to share things and see what people are up to and communicate, but I will be using this journal as a place where I give more insight into our world. It's our own space filled with things that matter to us and it's not controlled by a third party.